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Credit constraints and productive entrepreneurship in Africa

  • Mina Baliamoune-Lutz


  • Zuzana Brixiová


  • Léonce Ndikumana


Limited access of entrepreneurs to credit constrains the creation and growth of private firms. In Africa, access to credit is particularly limited for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) due to unclear property rights and the lack of assets that can be used as collateral. This paper presents a model where firm creation and growth hinge on matching potential entrepreneurs with productive technologies, while firm growth depends on acquired capital. The shortage of collateral creates a binding credit constraint on borrowing by SMEs and hence private sector growth and employment, even though the banking sectors have ample liquidity, as is the case in many African countries. The model is tested using a sample of 20 African countries over the period 2005-09. The empirical results suggest that policies aimed at easing the binding credit constraints (e.g., the depth of credit information and the strength of legal rights pertaining to collateral and bankruptcy) would stimulate productive entrepreneurship and private sector employment in Africa.

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Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 23-2011.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:23-2011
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  1. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, 2007. "Entrepreneurship, Reforms, and Development: Empirical Evidence," ICER Working Papers 38-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Iyigun, Murat & Rodrik, Dani, 2004. "On the Efficacy of Reforms: Policy Tinkering, Institutional Change and Entrepreneurship," CEPR Discussion Papers 4399, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Shleifer, Andrei & Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries?," Scholarly Articles 27867134, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 1999. "Information Sharing, Lending and Defaults: Cross-Country Evidence," CSEF Working Papers 22, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  6. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2000. "Information Sharing in Credit Markets: A Survey," CSEF Working Papers 36, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  7. Stefan Dercon & Luc Christiaensen, 2007. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: evidence from Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2007-06, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Haselmann, Rainer & Pistor, Katharina & Vig, Vikrant, 2006. "How Law Affects Lending," MPRA Paper 157, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Pagano, Marco & Jappelli, Tullio, 1993. " Information Sharing in Credit Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1693-1718, December.
  10. Zuzana Brixiova, 2010. "Unlocking Productive Entrepreneurship in Africa’s Least Developed Countries," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 22(3), pages 440-451.
  11. Brixiova, Zuzana & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1997. "Private sector development in transition economies," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 241-279, June.
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